The Calling Frog Survey utilizes the help of educated volunteers each spring to collect and submit data on amphibian populations in northern Illinois. In 2014, the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum became home to the program. The Lincoln Park Conservancy is excited to contribute a small team of volunteers and 2023 marks the first time data has been collected in the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. It will also be exciting to observe frog population changes at North Pond as restoration work there continues.
The report below is from our third and
final frog monitoring foray of the 2023 season.
Wednesday, June 28,
2023. Hazy, no wind, mild. Listening began one half hour after sunset at 9
Amelia Pollock, Manager of Docent Programs, Maeve Callaghan, Manager of Park Stewardship,
Heather Bond, Conservatory and Lily Pool Docent
One listening point at Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. Three listening points at North
Pond Nature Sanctuary
Our third and final survey was a resounding success—another long, lonely call from a single green frog! So maybe not so much, but little to no data is still data and very important data at that. Our bullfrogs and green frogs are easily spotted during daylight hours, although this year we’ve had fewer daytime reports of calls and sightings, but we know they’re out there. This spring and early summer have brought us some very strange weather, from wildly fluctuating temperatures and drought conditions to the eerie haze from the Canadian wildfires that’s now settled over much of the Midwest. Our green frog call was heard at our Lily Pool listening site, same as last time, with no amphibious luck at North Pond, same as last time. Two magical elements to offset the hazy weirdness were: lots and lots of lightning bugs, and the prairie grass on the Lily Pool employee utility path that was taller than us. We also saw some, but not many, bats and black-crowned night herons, Canada geese and their rapidly growing goslings, and a great blue heron. Better luck next year, frog friends…you haven’t seen the last of us!
We were stationed on the side of the Lily Pool behind the marsh grasses, and we had multiple listening spots at North Pond but the one that proved most frog-friendly was by the North Pond Overlook next to North Pond Restaurant. Heather imagined what a local Chicago frog might look like in her moving sketch, “Al Capone as American Bullfrog.”
Other Photo Credits:
-Northern Green Frog: Contrabaroness, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Male_Green_Frog_-_Hunterdon_County%2C_NJ.jpg